Monday, December 30, 2013


An artist goes on a long path to nowhere
stubbing his toe along the way
strong wind musters up as much evil as a cross could bear
but light can be seen afar

Towers crash and people burn
She eats her fill to start a new millennium
There are tired souls immersed in empty formlessness
but cold water shocks them

After chaos makes its mark
the artist leaves Babylon
enters a world of white mastery
Golden Buddha and Ganesha there to remove obstacles

From this the synthesis is born
Good and Evil as two poles in cosmic equilibrium
we must fight to get peace
the artist just laughs

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Heroic Modernism of High Technology and the Mystical Union of Art and Life in the Tower

Like the Two Towers of Tolkien, polar antagonism is the result of good and evil forces seeking dominance over the other.  Which will prevail determines the color of an age.  As the (evil) wizard Saruman says, "The World is changing. Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman ... and the union of the two towers? Together, my Lord Sauron ... we shall rule this Middle-Earth."  We have come out of a particularly dark period, where towers have risen and fallen.  The Twin Towers hang like phantasms around a rather sober looking single tower taking their place in New York City.  In essence, the two have become one.  It is arguable that from an architectural standpoint, the Freedom Tower is deficient in design to make New York City nothing other than like Paris before the end of WWII.  Examples of more prevalent visionary ideas are exemplified in towers like the Burj Khalifa or the Petronas Towers. The fact that Antonin Gaudi's Grand Hotel for New York was supposed to be built at the World Trade Center site is also interesting.  That is another aspect of this conversation however.

Paul Laffoley defines the Bahauroque as more or less a fusion of both "the heroic modernism of the German 'Bauhaus,' with its aspiration toward a technological utopia, and the exalted theatricality of the Italian baroque, in which an exuberance of form and illusion serve to express the mystical union of art and life."  I think he means a resolution of opposites, perhaps resolved in the destruction of the Twin Towers, and being rebuilt both physically and spiritually in one symbolic tower representing the age of technological advancement which is happening at high speed.  Perhaps these opposites were not so diametrically opposed after all, and their fusion promises a great future of aesthetic potential.  Reconstruction takes place out of postmodern ideas of absence in the sculptural field, like Rachel Whiteread's creations demonstrate.  As with Humpty Dumpty, the broken entity is pieced back together again.  The nature of design will naturally change in lieu of this reality based on a new aesthetic perspective and paradigm.  

The oppositional resolution is not in some highly intellectualized, decentralized way like in Postmodernism, but in a new way that has a mystical foundation in form.  Art and architecture may be able to speak their own psychic language again and we can envision formality in a way that is dedicated toward beauty in order to bring about a higher dimensional reality.  

This is the heroic modernism of high technology, building on ingenious creations of great engineering potential, like for example the work of Antonin Gaudi, and in some respects the Deconstructionists.  It is also mystical, yoking together realities that have become divorced from each other as a result of the cold intellectualism needed initially to usher in this technological age.  Now the shift in consciousness is possible and the understanding transformative.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Future of Art and Technology

The future of art and technology is an interesting subject and impossible to broach over in a few sentences.  It is incredibly complex.  First of all, we are witnessing several aspects in the technological age.  Post-Neitszche, God is Dead.  It seems that technology is God.  Google is God (at least for now).  The Darwinists are increasingly moving towards a model of man as machine.  Postmodernism did the in Deleuze and Guattari's "desiring production" and materialist psychiatry.  Richard Dawkins refers to man as "gene machines".  Daniel Dennett's opposition to Searle's Chinese Room as a refutation of the possibility of Strong AI, points in the direction of Asimov's I Robot.  The matter is the more material we become, the more we seek out material answers to our problems.  The divorce of science and religion has its roots in the Age of Enlightenment.  Despite a few resurgences of romantic elements in art, poetry and music, the mystical has been reduced down to a "Game of Life" where automatons are the true motivators of action in time and space.

This is what I see.  Art will become irrelevant in this respect.  How or why would a machine need art?  Art is the subject that brings mankind to unknowns in ways that differ from science.  In one sense, art and science are two sides of the same coin.  But, I would say, art deals more with unknowns in terms of feelings, intuition and other things that go outside of pure reason.  For this reason, it seems that art will have no room in a world guided by materialistic principles devoid of any sense of spirituality.

If we are simply machines, creating machines which will become human like, then it appears to be one big feedback loop.  I do not see progress there, with the exception of the extension of life, if that is the end game.  Art then would be possible, if a machine can become conscious, self-aware, searching and not just automatically reproducing what has been programmed.  I do realize that we ourselves could be seen as simply acting out our destinies based on unconscious urges and not having the free will postulated by so many religions.  Either way, this is an important crux in the relationship of art and science, and important for artists to consider in this changing world.